Saturday, June 13, 2009

NYT: Harold Norse Obit Not Plagiarized,

As Questioned by Doug Ireland

Harold Norse

On the Gays Without Borders listserv this morning, longtime independent and progressive journalist Doug Ireland sent along today's New York Times obit on queer beat poet icon Harold Norse. Ireland questioned the originality of the obit in his note:

Until Ireland called my attention to the online Norse bio, I didn't know about it, and after reading and comparing it to what Grimes wrote in the Times, I can see that it influenced what he wrote and don't see evidence of plagiarism.

Still, I wondered how Grimes would react to Ireland's note and sent him an email:

do you have a response to ireland's contention that you drew from, maybe plagiarized, a web bio for harold norse?

i'd like to include a reaction from you, or the times, for a post to my blog about doug's questioning about what you wrote.

lemme know if you have a comment to make on this matter. thanks.

Here's Grimes' reply:

I have no particular reaction to this charge. I did the kind of research that anyone would do in trying to put together a chronology of Norse's life. I certainly relied on the bio you refer to, on conversations with people who knew Norse, and on any scrap of information I could turn up from other sources as well.

Obviously, a brief obit is going to cover most of the same facts as any other account of his life. I do not see the problem. I am sure that whoever wrote the biography referred to here did much the same thing. The facts did not come from a vacuum, after all.

History, of whatever kind, gets written from previous sources. I hope that answers your question.

Yes, it does, and nice of Grimes to shed some light in on what goes into writing an obit for the Times.

Be sure to check out the newly-created web site for Norse, and learn more about his life, his art and his writings.

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